Precautions To Prevent Asthma Medication From Damaging Your Teeth

Posted on: 20 August 2015

Asthma medications have been linked to multiple dental conditions. For this reason, asthma patients should be extra careful when it comes to their dental care. Here are three precautions you should take to reduce the threat of asthma medication on your dental health:

Rinse after Every Medication

Some asthma medications, including those used in nebulizers and inhalers, are acidic. This lowers the pH of saliva, making it acidic and demineralizing (removing the minerals from) the tooth enamel. This weakens the enamel and makes it easy for bacteria to attack the tooth.

To reduce this effect, it's best to rinse your mouth after using the inhaler. For young children who are using nebulizers, rinsing both the mouth and the mask may help reduce medicine buildup that may worsen the problem.

Topical Fluoride Treatment

Rinsing the mouth with water may reduce the acidity of saliva, but you can take another precaution by using topical fluoride treatments. Ask your dentist for a prescription and use it exactly as described. Most of them are to be applied after brushing the teeth in the evening.

Fluoride prevents dissolution of the enamel crystals. It also speeds up remineralization by attracting calcium and phosphate ions together to form an acid-resistant surface on the enamel.

Moisturize the Mouth

In addition to lowering your saliva's pH, some asthma medications also dry the mouth. A dry mouth is a recipe for many dental problems including bad breath and dental cavities. The latter is because saliva is necessary for washing away bits of food remains and bacterial plaque.

Keeping the mouth hydrated with water or ice chips is best; avoid sugary drinks at all costs because the sugar will just feed the bacteria and worsen the problem. For extremely dry mouths, your dentist may be able to prescribe appropriate medication.

Inform Your Dentist about the Asthma

Inform every dentist you consult (for any reason at all) about your asthma condition. The dentist will help you with further advice, be on the lookout for tooth problems, and prescribe relevant medication when needed. For example, your dentist may advise you to use dental sealants to reduce the risk of cavities caused by the medication.

Never stop using any medicine without consulting your physician. Even if you feel that the asthma is weakening your teeth, don't make any change without professional consultation. Don't forget that asthma has no cure, and you need the medicines to control it. Fortunately, together with your dentist's help, you can use the medication and prevent tooth damage too. Contact a clinic like Brookside Dental Associate for more information.